|Publication number||US4018358 A|
|Application number||US 05/607,782|
|Publication date||Apr 19, 1977|
|Filing date||Sep 18, 1975|
|Priority date||Sep 18, 1975|
|Publication number||05607782, 607782, US 4018358 A, US 4018358A, US-A-4018358, US4018358 A, US4018358A|
|Inventors||Robert D. Johnson, John W. Havener, Franklin W. Reyner, Jr., Loren K. Whitver, Norman W. Kilburn, Jack M. Hoglan|
|Original Assignee||Pharmaceutical Innovators, Ltd.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (7), Referenced by (157), Classifications (10)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The dispensing of pills is ordinarily done on a manual basis with the pharmacist counting them out into a vial from a storage container. This is a tedious and time-consuming job and may be inaccurate. Accordingly, an automatic machine is desired that will dispense pill quickly, efficiently and accurately thereby freeing the pharmacist for other activities.
The pharmacist will place quantities of each of his pills into separate cassettes arranged in bookshelf fashion next to the pill dispensing and counting machine of this invention. The cassette is placed on the machine where it then is in communication with a vacuum source in the machine and a drive wheel for operating a conveying wheel in the cassette which carries pills from the bottom of the cassette to a discharge opening which is above the vial to be delivered to the customer. A photoelectric cell senses each pill carried to the discharge opening via a fiber optic scanner and counts it on an electronic counter which will continue counting pills until the predetermined number set on the counter has decreased to zero whereby the machine will then shut down and an accurate number of pills will have been dispensed while the pharmacist is preparing the label for the vial.
The pills in the cassettes are maintained fresh while they are being stored in that the conveying openings on the wheel are closed by an annular ring which is pulled away from the openings when the vacuum is applied to the wheel. Air is drawn into the cartridge through a top opening normally closed by a door which is opened by engagement with a plate on the machine. A second door is also opened normally closing a passageway leading to the discharge opening. These two doors are integrally connected to move together to open and close their respective openings. The fiber optic scanner also registers on the pills moving past it by being positioned just outside the top opening in the cassette. This top opening is also used for filling the cassette. The wall forming a passageway to the discharge opening also extends across the line of travel of the openings in the wheel thereby deflecting the pills into the discharge passageway for discharge through the discharge opening.
The wheel in the cassette is driven by an annular wall engaging the flat surface of the wheel and the wall forms with the wheel a vacuum chamber. The suction applied to the wheel maintains frictional contact between the driving wall and the driven wheel. A centering pin is provided on the machine for being received in the hub of the cartridge wheel. Openings are provided around the centering pin for communicating the vacuum to the vacuum chamber and to the conveying openings in the wheel.
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the cassette pill storing, dispensing and counting machine and cassette storage rack.
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary top plan view of the machine only.
FIG. 3 is a cross sectional view taken along line 3 -- 3 in FIG. 2.
FIG. 4 is a cross sectional view taken along line 4 -- 4 in FIG. 2.
FIG. 5 is a rear end elevation view of the dispensing machine.
FIG. 6 is a cross sectional view taken along line 6 -- 6 in FIG. 1.
FIG. 7 is a cross sectional view taken along line 7 -- 7 in FIG. 6.
FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the cassette.
FIG. 9 is an exploded view of the cassette.
FIG. 10 is a cross sectional view taken along line 10 -- 10 in FIG. 8, and
FIG. 11 is an electrical schematic drawing of the electrical circuitry for operating the dispensing machine.
The pill dispensing and counting machine of this invention is referred to generally in FIG. 1 by the reference numeral 10 and includes a pill cassette 12 from which pills are dispensed into a vial 14. The pharmacist will have each of his different pills stored in individual cassettes 12 on storage shelf 16 of a rack 18 preferably positioned adjacent the machine 10 for convenient transfer between storage and dispensing on the machine.
A mechanical binary coded decimal three digit switch is employed on the face 22 of the machine 10 for setting the number of pills desired while an electronic L E D display counter 24 will count out the number of pills being dispensed in response to a signal from a fiber optic scanner triggering a photoelectric cell 26 which reads pills actually passing out the discharge opening of the cassette. When the number on the L E D display has decreased to zero, the machine will shut down, further confirming that the exact number of pills has been dispensed. A start button 28 and a master or main switch and combined circuit breaker 30 are also provided on the face 22 of the machine.
The vial 14, as seen in FIG. 6, is placed on a shelf 32 movably carried by a trolley arrangement 34 on a vertically disposed rail 36. The shelf 32 is biased upwardly by a spring 38 to thereby maintain the vial 14 in communication with the discharge opening of the cassette.
The dispensing machine comprises two basic mechanical systems used in conjunction with the cassette during the dispensing of pills. The first system is for providing a vacuum to the cassette. The second system is for driving the cassette. The vacuum system includes a fan 40 operated by a belt 42 connected to a motor 44 mounted on a bracket 46 secured to the bottom of the machine housing 48. A cooling fan 50 is provided on the motor shaft 52 for drawing air in through an opening 54, as seen in FIG. 5, on the back side 56 of the machine housing 48. The air is then exhausted through the opening 60 in the back wall 56. As seen in FIG. 3, the air drawn through the opening 54 is caused to flow downwardly through an opening 63 in a baffle 64 and then back to the top of the enclosure 48 towards the front end and then downwardly around the motor 44 as seen by the arrows where it is finally exhausted through the bottom opening 60 directly opposite the fan 50. A wall 66 in the baffle chamber divides the baffle chamber into top and bottom baffle chambers to assist in maintaining the desired circulation of the air as described.
The air for the vacuum fan 40 is drawn from a vacuum chamber 70 formed by wall 72 and an upstanding wall 74. The chamber 74 is in turn in communication through a plurality of openings 76 around a drive shaft 78 in a dish-like vacuum drive wheel 80 having an upstanding wall 82. Thus, a second vacuum chamber 84 is defined by the vacuum drive wheel 80 and the cassette 12 which will be defined hereinafter. Accordingly, the air thus flows from the atmosphere through the cassette through the vacuum chamber 84 into the vacuum chamber 70 then into a tube 86 connected to the fan 40 where it is then exhausted to a tube 88 which communicates with the atmosphere at the rear of the machine, as seen in FIG. 5, through the exhaust opening 90 having a filter 92. It is seen that the air is circulated in FIG. 4 through a baffle opening 96 to the outlet opening 90 on the back side of the machine. The second system for driving the cassette includes a motor 100 mounted on a recess wall 102 and having a shaft 104 motor 100 mounted on a recess wall 102 and having a shaft 104 connected by a pin 106 to a centering hub 108 having an outwardly extending finger 110. The vacuum drive wheel 80 is connected integrally to the hub 108 to drive the cassette through frictional engagement along the outer edge of the wall 82 with the back side of the wheel of the cassette hereinafter described. It is noted that, as shown in FIG. 7, there is no driving action occurring between the cassette and the centering finger 110, thus simplifying the structure. The motor 100 is preferably operated at 25 r.p.m.
The cassette, generally referred to by the reference numeral 12, will now be described. It is held in position on the front of the machine, as seen in FIG. 1, by a wall portion 112, engaging the front face of the cassette. Also, a micro interlock switch 114 is provided between the cassette and the front face 22 of the machine to insure that the machine does not operate until a cassette is put in its proper position for operation. A perforated plate 116 extends forwardly from the face 22 of the machine and serves to operate the access door 118 in the top wall 120 of the cassette 12. The perforations in the plate 116 serve to allow air to enter the cassette while keeping the pills from being ejected therefrom.
In addition to the top wall 120 of the cassette 12, a bottom wall 122 interconnects opposite end walls 124 and 126. The cassette further includes opposite side walls 128 and 130.
The side wall 130 includes the pill conveying wheel 132 which includes a plurality of pill conveying openings 134 coaxially arranged around the disc-like wheel and its axial center of rotation which extends through a spacer post 136 which receives the centering finger 110 on the drive shaft 104 of the motor 100. The outer peripheral edge of the disc-like wheel 132 includes a shoulder 138 and an outwardly extending annular flange 140 which matingly engages an oppositely disposed flange 144 and a shoulder 146 which defines an opening in the cassette 130, as seen in FIG. 10. Thus it is seen that the disc wheel 132 is retained in the wall 130. It is also seen in FIG. 10 that the upstanding wall 82 of the vacuum drive wheel 80 engages the disc wheel 132 between the openings 134 and the outer peripheral edge. Contact is maintained by the vacuum applied to the wheel. The wheel 132 is limited against inward travel into the cassette by a concave wall 148 extending upwardly between the opposite side walls 128 and 130 and a separator and discharge passageway wall 150. The concave wall 148 functions to keep the pills funneled to the area of the wheel to be picked up by the wheel and discharged.
The separator and discharge passageway wall 150 is seen in FIG. 6 to extend upwardly from the bottom wall 122 where it is spaced inwardly from the end wall 126 to form a discharge passageway 152. The wall 150 is curved upwardly and inwardly across the line of travel 154 of the pills 156 carried on the wheel 132 and thus serves to separate the pills from the wheel and into the passageway 152 for discharge out the discharge opening 158 into the vial 14. The upper end of the wall 150 is spaced downwardly from the top wall 120 and thus forms an opening 160 closable by a movable door 162 extending downwardly from a horizontally disposed door 164 positioned to close the access opening 118 in the top wall 120 of the cassette. An upstanding actuating pin 166 is carried on the door 164 and is engaged by the perforated plate 116 when the cassette is in its position of use as seen in FIG. 6, thus sliding the doors 164 and 162 to the right and thus providing the openings 160 and 118. A spring 170 inside the cassette is connected to a pin 171 on the inside of wall 128 and its other end is connected to the downwardly extending pin 172 on the bottom side of the door 164 for normally maintaining the doors in their closed position sealing the pills while in storage from the atmosphere.
Agitation of the pills 156 on the concave wall 148 is accomplished by an agitator 174 rotatable with the wheel 132 by virtue of a pair of discs 176 being disposed in clamping relationship on opposite sides of a pair of crossed flexible elements 178 secured to the spacer post 136 by a cap element 180. It is seen that the outer ends 182 of the elements 178 extend beyond the outer peripheral edges of the discs 176 thereby being free to flex and kick the pills upwardly as the elements turn clockwise through the heap of pills on the wall 148. It is desired to break up any bridging of the pills at the top surface such that they may be drawn by the vacuum pressure onto the holes 134 singularly. Thus the discs 176 give rigidity to the inner ends of the agitating elements 178.
Each cassette will be adjusted through operation of a gauge 190 for the particular pills or the like to be stored and dispensed therefrom. The size of the opening 134 is such that it will accommodate any size pill but that opening may be too large for certain pills and thus may carry more than one pill unless the gauge 190 is operated to restrict the opening so that only one pill will be carried. Accordingly, the gauge 190 is pivotally connected to the wall 130 on the inner surface thereof by a pin 192, and a lock bolt 194 extends through an elongated slot 196 to allow pivotal adjustment of the gauge towards and away from the openings 134 in the wheel 132. The gauge 190 is concave to extend across the openings 134 to give the maximum amount of adjustment capability. It is only necessary that one of the openings be partially covered by the gauge. The concave edge 196 corresponds in shape to the circular outer periphery of the openings 134. Once the gauge is set it can remain set indefinitely. If too much of the opening is covered, then certain openings will not carry pills, while if too little of the opening is exposed certain openings may carry more than one pill and the photoelectric cell will read two pills as one. Thus, brief experimentation will indicate when the gauge is set correctly.
As discussed previously, the cassette is sealed when in storage and the openings 134 are sealed by a ring 200 adapted to overlay the openings when not in communication with the vacuum. The ring 200 is made of a material which is resilient and allows the vacuum to pull the ring away from the openings 134 to establish communication with the inside of the cassette through the openings. The ring 200 is secured to the spacer post 136 by a coaxial cap 202. The inside of the cassette is maintained moisture free by the inclusion of a desiccant holder 300 which includes a roll of desiccant material 302, as seen in FIG. 6.
Thus in operation it is seen that the various pills, tablets, and the like of the pharmacists are stored in their own cassette 12 on the shelf 16 of the rack 18 adjacent the dispensing machine 10. The gauge 190 in each of them has been adjusted to allow only one pill to be carried by each hole 134 in the wheel 132. All access into the cassette is sealed when in storage by the ring 200 over the holes 134 and the doors 162 and 164 closing the inlet opening 160 to the discharge passageway 152 and the access opening 118 in the top of the cassette wall 120.
The number of pills desired is set on the switch 20 and with the cassette 12 in place on the face of the machine the interlock switch 114 will be closed by the cassette and the start button 28 will load the desired number into the electronic counter and start the machine. The main power switch 30 has been previously actuated. The counter 24 will now count out the pills remaining that are being dispensed by the fiber optic actuated photoelectric cell 26 counting each pill that is dispensed into the vial 14. The machine will shut down when the correct number of pills has been dispensed.
Arrows are drawn through the perforated plate 116 down through the access opening 118 in the top wall 120 of the cassette 12 through the pill-carrying openings 134 past the sealing ring 200 through the hole 76 in the driving wheel 80 thence through the chamber 70 and through the pipe 86 to the vacuum fan 40 where the air is then exhausted through the pipe 88 and out through the filtered exhaust opening 90 on the back side of the machine. It is seen that the frictional contact between the upstanding wall 82 of the driving wheel 80 against the pill-conveying wheel 132 is accomplished by the vacuum applied to the wheel 132 and thus no mechanical parts are required to make this connection.
|Cited Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US1502053 *||Sep 19, 1922||Jul 22, 1924||American Dan Bottle Seal Corp||Article-feeding hopper|
|US2665184 *||Jul 19, 1951||Jan 5, 1954||Hord Paul E||Vending machine|
|US2692705 *||Oct 9, 1950||Oct 26, 1954||Marihart Leo A||Seeder with agitator and adjustable discharge controller|
|US3486658 *||Mar 19, 1968||Dec 30, 1969||Pic A Pac Vending Corp||Vending machine with removable supply container|
|US3587921 *||Apr 8, 1968||Jun 28, 1971||Becton Dickinson Co||Micropipette dispenser|
|US3796346 *||Apr 12, 1972||Mar 12, 1974||Ribouleau Ateliers||Distributing device for a sowing machine|
|US3837139 *||Jul 5, 1973||Sep 24, 1974||Rosenberg H||Apparatus for handling and counting pills and the like|
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US4396828 *||Sep 26, 1980||Aug 2, 1983||Programs & Analysis, Inc.||Pill counter|
|US4519525 *||Jun 1, 1981||May 28, 1985||J. I. Case Company||Seed dispenser for planters|
|US4646939 *||May 2, 1985||Mar 3, 1987||Societe Sogefina, Societe De Gestion Financiere Armoricaine (Societe Anonyme)||Selector device for the distributor of a so-called "single seed" seed drill|
|US4664289 *||Sep 20, 1985||May 12, 1987||Sanyo Electric Co, Ltd.||Drug dispensing apparatus|
|US4697721 *||Jun 24, 1985||Oct 6, 1987||Pharmaceutical Innovators Ltd.||Pill storage and dispensing cassette|
|US4869394 *||Jan 20, 1988||Sep 26, 1989||Hurst Kerney J||Article counting device|
|US4982412 *||Mar 13, 1989||Jan 1, 1991||Moore Push-Pin Company||Apparatus and method for counting a plurality of similar articles|
|US5058777 *||May 25, 1989||Oct 22, 1991||Yamaha Corporation||Automatic method and apparatus for scattering wood pieces in production of a decorative board|
|US5101359 *||Jan 19, 1990||Mar 31, 1992||Moore Push-Pin Company||System for automatic discharge of articles|
|US5110008 *||Sep 29, 1989||May 5, 1992||Moulding Jr Thomas S||Dispenser adapted to isolate the dispensed objects by compression between two moveable structures|
|US5219093 *||May 4, 1992||Jun 15, 1993||Thomas S. Moulding||Dispenser adapted to isolate the dispensed objects by compression between two movable structures|
|US5337919 *||Feb 11, 1993||Aug 16, 1994||Dispensing Technologies, Inc.||Automatic dispensing system for prescriptions and the like|
|US5344043 *||May 10, 1993||Sep 6, 1994||Thomas S. Moulding||Dispenser especially adapted for dispensing medication units|
|US5405048 *||Dec 6, 1993||Apr 11, 1995||Kvm Technologies, Inc.||Vacuum operated medicine dispenser|
|US5490610 *||Apr 13, 1995||Feb 13, 1996||Pearson; Walter G.||Semi-automated medication dispenser|
|US5562232 *||Feb 12, 1996||Oct 8, 1996||Pearson; Walter G.||Semi-automated medication dispenser|
|US5657236 *||Aug 14, 1995||Aug 12, 1997||Profile Systems, Llc||Medication dispensing and timing system utilizing patient communicator with internal clock|
|US5660305 *||May 31, 1995||Aug 26, 1997||Medco Containment Services, Inc.||Automatic prescription dispensing system|
|US5703786 *||Aug 14, 1995||Dec 30, 1997||Profile Systems, Llc||Medication dispensing and timing system utilizing time reference message|
|US5713487 *||Mar 11, 1996||Feb 3, 1998||Scriptpro L.L.C.||Medicament verification in an automatic dispening system|
|US5720154 *||May 31, 1995||Feb 24, 1998||Medco Containment Services, Inc.||Enhanced drug dispensing system|
|US5827180 *||Nov 26, 1997||Oct 27, 1998||Lifemasters Supported Selfcare||Method and apparatus for a personal health network|
|US5838575 *||Dec 14, 1995||Nov 17, 1998||Rx Excell Inc.||System for dispensing drugs|
|US5839378 *||Aug 20, 1996||Nov 24, 1998||Case Corporation||Agitator assembly for a seed metering mechanism|
|US5850344 *||Aug 14, 1995||Dec 15, 1998||Profile Systems, Llc||Medication dispensing and timing system|
|US5957326 *||Mar 13, 1996||Sep 28, 1999||Ostgaard; John T.||Apparatus for retrieving randomly organized articles|
|US6044779 *||Oct 13, 1998||Apr 4, 2000||Case Corporation||Multiple drop seed disc|
|US6053302 *||Feb 10, 1999||Apr 25, 2000||Geometric Controls Inc.||Object singulating and counting device|
|US6109193 *||Apr 15, 1998||Aug 29, 2000||Case Corporation||Seed planter apparatus and method|
|US6325005||Mar 17, 2000||Dec 4, 2001||Case Corporation||Seed planter apparatus and method|
|US6374759||Mar 17, 2000||Apr 23, 2002||Case Corporation||Seed planter apparatus and method|
|US6401638||Mar 17, 2000||Jun 11, 2002||Case Corporation||Seed planter apparatus and method|
|US6561377||Dec 14, 2001||May 13, 2003||Pearson Research & Development, Llc||Vacuum drum pill counter|
|US6564730||Dec 17, 2001||May 20, 2003||Case Corporation||Seed planter apparatus and method|
|US6739272||Mar 13, 2003||May 25, 2004||Cnh America Llc||Seed planter apparatus and method|
|US6776108||Mar 13, 2003||Aug 17, 2004||Cnh America Llc||Seed planter apparatus and method|
|US6821079||Mar 1, 2002||Nov 23, 2004||Apothecary Products, Inc.||Pill and capsule counter|
|US6910601||Jul 8, 2003||Jun 28, 2005||Scriptpro Llc||Collating unit for use with a control center cooperating with an automatic prescription or pharmaceutical dispensing system|
|US6997341||Aug 6, 2002||Feb 14, 2006||Pearson Research & Development, L.L.C.||Vacuum drum pill counter|
|US7014063||Aug 8, 2003||Mar 21, 2006||Mckesson Automation Systems, Inc.||Dispensing device having a storage chamber, dispensing chamber and a feed regulator there between|
|US7021492||Sep 2, 2003||Apr 4, 2006||Apothecary Products, Inc.||Pill and capsule counter and dispenser|
|US7048183||Jun 16, 2004||May 23, 2006||Scriptpro Llc||RFID rag and method of user verification|
|US7080755||Sep 13, 2004||Jul 25, 2006||Michael Handfield||Smart tray for dispensing medicaments|
|US7100796||Mar 2, 2004||Sep 5, 2006||Scriptpro Llc||Apparatus for dispensing vials|
|US7121427||Jul 22, 2004||Oct 17, 2006||Scriptpro Llc||Fork based transport storage system for pharmaceutical unit of use dispenser|
|US7139639||Jul 29, 2003||Nov 21, 2006||Mckesson Automation Systems Inc.||Article dispensing and counting method and device|
|US7175381||Nov 23, 2004||Feb 13, 2007||Scriptpro Llc||Robotic arm for use with pharmaceutical unit of use transport and storage system|
|US7230519||Jun 16, 2004||Jun 12, 2007||Scriptpro Llc||RFID tag and method of user verification|
|US7255247||Dec 2, 2004||Aug 14, 2007||Aylward Enterprises, Inc.||Apparatus and methods for handling pills|
|US7303094||Apr 25, 2003||Dec 4, 2007||Kevin Hutchinson||Vacuum pill dispensing cassette and counting machine|
|US7434704 *||Aug 5, 2003||Oct 14, 2008||Yuyama Mfg. Co., Ltd.||Medicine feeder|
|US7440818||Apr 18, 2005||Oct 21, 2008||Animatronics, Inc.||Medicament tray inventory system and method|
|US7461759||Aug 3, 2005||Dec 9, 2008||Scriptpro Llc||Fork based transport storage system for pharmaceutical unit of use dispenser|
|US7478603||May 18, 2006||Jan 20, 2009||Deere & Company||Seed meter monitoring system|
|US7506780||Sep 26, 2007||Mar 24, 2009||Mckesson Automation Systems Inc.||Vacuum pill dispensing cassette and counting machine|
|US7555362||Jun 30, 2009||Parata Systems, Llc||Article dispensing and counting method and device|
|US7584018||Mar 20, 2006||Sep 1, 2009||Parata Systems, Llc||Dispensing device having a storage chamber, a dispensing chamber and a feed regulator there between|
|US7630790||Dec 8, 2009||Michael Handfield||Medicament inventory system and method|
|US7631670 *||Jun 30, 2008||Dec 15, 2009||Kirby Lester, Llc||Method and system for high-speed tablet counting and dispensing|
|US7721914||May 31, 2006||May 25, 2010||Michael Handfield||Container for dispensing medicaments having a compressible medium therein|
|US7726514 *||Jul 7, 2004||Jun 1, 2010||Rxmedic Systems, Inc.||Automated article dispensation mechanism|
|US7735681||Oct 17, 2006||Jun 15, 2010||Handfield Michael||Medicament container locking system and method|
|US7735683||May 31, 2006||Jun 15, 2010||Michael Handfield||Smart tray for dispensing medicaments|
|US7751933||Jul 6, 2010||Michael Handfield||Smart tray for dispensing medicaments|
|US7753229 *||Sep 26, 2007||Jul 13, 2010||Mckesson Automation Systems Inc.||Vacuum pill dispensing cassette and counting machine|
|US7789267 *||Sep 26, 2007||Sep 7, 2010||Mckesson Automation Systems, Inc.||Vacuum pill dispensing cassette and counting machine|
|US7802698 *||May 16, 2006||Sep 28, 2010||Tna Australia Pty Limited||Apparatus to insert articles into bags|
|US7831334||Apr 26, 2007||Nov 9, 2010||Mckesson Automation Systems Inc.||Method of transporting vials and cassettes in an automated prescription filling apparatus|
|US7844362||Jul 11, 2006||Nov 30, 2010||Michael Handfield||Method of intelligently dispensing medicaments|
|US7860603||Aug 20, 2007||Dec 28, 2010||Michael Handfield||Medicaments container with medicament authentication mechanism|
|US7886506 *||Feb 15, 2011||Qem, Inc.||Method of automatically filling prescriptions|
|US7886931||Feb 15, 2011||Michael Handfield||Medicament container system and method|
|US7908030||Mar 15, 2011||Michael Handfield||Smart tray for dispensing medicaments|
|US7909207||Aug 20, 2007||Mar 22, 2011||Michael Handfield||Smart tray for dispensing medicaments|
|US7917246||Mar 29, 2011||Michael Handfield||Lockable medicament dispensing apparatus with authentication mechanism|
|US7949426||May 24, 2011||Michael Handfield||Medicaments container with display component|
|US7988404||Aug 2, 2011||Parata Systems, Llc||System and method for dispensing prescriptions|
|US7996105||Aug 9, 2011||Michael Handfield||Medicament dispensing authorization|
|US8027748||Sep 27, 2011||Michael Handfield||Medicament container|
|US8091733 *||Jan 10, 2012||Rxmedic Systems, Inc.||Automated article dispensation mechanism|
|US8112175||Feb 7, 2012||Michael Handfield||Methods and apparatus for medicament tracking|
|US8146331 *||Jan 15, 2009||Apr 3, 2012||Sabrie Soloman||Automated packaging, inspection, verification, and counting apparatus|
|US8348094||Nov 7, 2007||Jan 8, 2013||Parata Systems, Llc||Vacuum based pill singulator and counter based thereon|
|US8499967||Jun 26, 2009||Aug 6, 2013||Parata Systems, Llc||Methods and apparatus for dispensing solid articles|
|US8770437||Jul 3, 2013||Jul 8, 2014||Parata Systems, Llc||Methods and apparatus for dispensing solid articles|
|US8774962 *||Dec 21, 2004||Jul 8, 2014||Parata Systems, Llc||System and method for dispensing prescriptions|
|US8777054||Jan 19, 2012||Jul 15, 2014||Parata Systems, Llc||Apparatus for dispensing solid articles and methods for using same|
|US8798788||Jan 10, 2012||Aug 5, 2014||Parata Systems, Llc||System and method for dispensing prescriptions|
|US9037285||Apr 26, 2007||May 19, 2015||Mckesson Automation Systems, Inc.||Automated apparatus and method for filling vials|
|US9299210||Aug 7, 2008||Mar 29, 2016||Parata Systems, Llc||System and method for dispensing prescriptions|
|US9394070||Oct 8, 2012||Jul 19, 2016||Pearson Medical Technologies, Llc||Pill packaging machine|
|US20030111484 *||Aug 6, 2002||Jun 19, 2003||Pearson Walter G.||Vacuum drum pill counter|
|US20030154892 *||Mar 13, 2003||Aug 21, 2003||Crabb Richard J.||Seed planter apparatus and method|
|US20040059463 *||Jun 18, 2003||Mar 25, 2004||Scriptpro Llc||Active control center for use with an automatic dispensing system for prescriptions and the like|
|US20040074916 *||Sep 2, 2003||Apr 22, 2004||Priebe Robert N.||Pill and capsule counter and dispenser|
|US20040099683 *||Aug 8, 2003||May 27, 2004||Shows Paul Randall||Dispensing device having a storage chamber, dispensing chamber and a feed regulator there between|
|US20040134049 *||Jul 8, 2003||Jul 15, 2004||Hans-Jurgen Schreiner||Insulation for piezoceramic multilayer actors|
|US20040256452 *||Jun 16, 2004||Dec 23, 2004||Coughlin Michael E.||RFID tag and method of user verification|
|US20040257202 *||Jun 16, 2004||Dec 23, 2004||Coughlin Michael E.||RFID tag and method of user verification|
|US20050035138 *||Jul 22, 2004||Feb 17, 2005||Scriptpro Llc||Fork based transport storage system for pharmaceutical unit of use dispenser|
|US20050098572 *||Dec 21, 2004||May 12, 2005||Williams Jeffrey P.||system and method for dispensing prescriptions|
|US20050113968 *||Dec 21, 2004||May 26, 2005||Williams Jeffrey P.||System and method for dispensing prescriptions|
|US20050173521 *||Feb 25, 2005||Aug 11, 2005||Coughlin Michael E.||RFID tag and method of user verification|
|US20050224510 *||Oct 25, 2004||Oct 13, 2005||Remis Steven J||Vacuum based pill singulator and counter based thereon|
|US20060005035 *||Oct 8, 2004||Jan 5, 2006||Coughlin Michael E||Keystroke input device for use with an RFID tag and user verification system|
|US20060006190 *||Jul 7, 2004||Jan 12, 2006||Janet Jason A||Automated article dispensation mechanism|
|US20060016824 *||Aug 3, 2005||Jan 26, 2006||Guerra Lawrence E||Fork based transport storage system for pharmaceutical unit of use dispenser|
|US20060058724 *||Sep 13, 2004||Mar 16, 2006||Michael Handfield||Smart tray for dispensing medicaments|
|US20060058725 *||Mar 3, 2005||Mar 16, 2006||Michael Handfield||Smart tray for dispensing medicaments|
|US20060058726 *||Apr 18, 2005||Mar 16, 2006||Michael Handfield||Medicament tray inventory system and method|
|US20060058918 *||Feb 11, 2005||Mar 16, 2006||Michael Handfield||Medicament inventory system and method|
|US20060113314 *||Aug 5, 2003||Jun 1, 2006||Shoji Yuyama||Drug dispenser|
|US20060118573 *||Nov 3, 2004||Jun 8, 2006||Ganz Brian L||Automated small item dispense module|
|US20060157492 *||Mar 20, 2006||Jul 20, 2006||Mckesson Automation Systems, Inc.||Dispensing device having a storage chamber, dispensing chamber and a feed regulator there between|
|US20060180234 *||Dec 2, 2004||Aug 17, 2006||Aylward Enterprises, Inc.||Apparatus and methods for handling pills|
|US20060182609 *||Nov 23, 2004||Aug 17, 2006||Guerra Lawrence E||Robotic arm for use with pharmaceutical unit of use transport and storage system|
|US20060213917 *||May 31, 2006||Sep 28, 2006||Michael Handfield||Smart tray for dispensing medicaments|
|US20060219730 *||May 31, 2006||Oct 5, 2006||Michael Handfield||Container for dispensing medicaments having a compressible medium therein|
|US20060224274 *||May 25, 2006||Oct 5, 2006||Mckesson Automation Systems Inc.||Article dispensing and counting method and device|
|US20060241806 *||Jun 23, 2006||Oct 26, 2006||Michael Handfield||Smart tray for dispensing medicaments|
|US20060272741 *||May 16, 2006||Dec 7, 2006||Taylor Alfred A||Apparatus to insert articles into bags|
|US20060292492 *||Jun 27, 2006||Dec 28, 2006||Nec Corporation||Optical information recording medium and optical information reproducing apparatus|
|US20070186514 *||Apr 26, 2007||Aug 16, 2007||Mckesson Automation Systems Inc.||Automated apparatus and method for filling vials|
|US20070187422 *||Oct 10, 2006||Aug 16, 2007||Michael Handfield||Smart tray for dispensing medicaments|
|US20070208457 *||Apr 26, 2007||Sep 6, 2007||Mckesson Automation Systems Inc.||Method of transporting vials and cassettes in an automated prescription filling apparatus|
|US20070266917 *||May 18, 2006||Nov 22, 2007||Deere & Company, A Delaware Corporation||Seed meter monitoring system|
|US20080017656 *||Sep 26, 2007||Jan 24, 2008||Mckesson Automation Systems Inc.||Vacuum pill dispensing cassette and counting machine|
|US20080017661 *||Sep 26, 2007||Jan 24, 2008||Mckesson Automation Systems Inc.||Vacuum pill dispensing cassette and counting machine|
|US20080029531 *||Aug 20, 2007||Feb 7, 2008||Michael Handfield||Medicament dispensing authorization|
|US20080029532 *||Aug 20, 2007||Feb 7, 2008||Michael Handfield||Medicament dispensing authorization|
|US20080029533 *||Aug 20, 2007||Feb 7, 2008||Michael Handfield||Medicament container system and method|
|US20080035661 *||Aug 20, 2007||Feb 14, 2008||Michael Handfield||Medicament container|
|US20080061074 *||Nov 7, 2007||Mar 13, 2008||Parata Systems, L.L.C.||Vacuum Based Pill Singulator and Counter Based Thereon|
|US20080093372 *||Oct 22, 2007||Apr 24, 2008||Milton Monroe T||Method and apparatus for sorting, counting and packaging pharmaceutical drugs and other objects|
|US20080140251 *||Aug 20, 2007||Jun 12, 2008||Michael Handfield||Method and system for communicating with a medicaments container|
|US20080140252 *||Aug 20, 2007||Jun 12, 2008||Michael Handfield||Method and system for communicating with a medicaments container|
|US20080173711 *||Aug 20, 2007||Jul 24, 2008||Michael Handfield||Method and system for communicating with a medicaments container|
|US20080257902 *||Jun 30, 2008||Oct 23, 2008||Aleksandr Geltser||Method and System for High-Speed Tablet Counting and Dispensing|
|US20090043421 *||Aug 7, 2008||Feb 12, 2009||Parata Systems, Llc||System and method for dispensing prescriptions|
|US20090164042 *||Mar 2, 2009||Jun 25, 2009||Michael Handfield||Medicament inventory system and method|
|US20090173745 *||Aug 14, 2008||Jul 9, 2009||Parata Systems, Llc||System and Method for Dispensing Prescriptions|
|US20090321465 *||Dec 31, 2009||Qem, Inc.||Method of automatically filling prescriptions|
|US20100006584 *||Jan 14, 2010||Michelli Richard D||Methods and apparatus for dispensing solid articles|
|US20100163373 *||Dec 30, 2008||Jul 1, 2010||Scriptpro Llc||Medicament bottle dispenser|
|US20100175352 *||Jan 15, 2009||Jul 15, 2010||Sabrie Soloman||Automated pharmaceutical product packaging, inspection, verification, and counting apparatus|
|US20100268376 *||Oct 21, 2010||Janet Jason A||Automated article dispensation mechanism|
|US20120159907 *||Jun 28, 2012||Knapp Logistics & Automation, Inc.||Systems and Methods of Automated Tablet Dispensing, Prescription Filling, and Packaging|
|USRE35743 *||Mar 1, 1996||Mar 17, 1998||Pearson Ventures, L.L.C.||Patient medication dispensing and associated record keeping system|
|USRE40453 *||Feb 24, 2000||Aug 12, 2008||Medco Health Solutions, Inc.||Enhanced drug dispensing system|
|USRE40510||Jun 30, 2000||Sep 23, 2008||Medco Health Solutions, Inc.||Automatic prescription filling, sorting and packaging system|
|USRE42730||Sep 27, 2011||Medco Health Solutions, Inc.||Automatic prescription filling, sorting and packaging system|
|USRE42766||Oct 4, 2011||Medco Health Solutions, Inc.||Automatic prescription filling, sorting and packaging system|
|USRE42937||Nov 22, 2011||Medco Health Solutions, Inc.||Automatic prescription filling, sorting and packaging system|
|WO2003051721A2 *||Dec 11, 2002||Jun 26, 2003||Pearson Walter G||Vacuum drum pill counter|
|WO2003051721A3 *||Dec 11, 2002||Sep 25, 2003||Todd R Funderburk||Vacuum drum pill counter|
|WO2004014734A1||Aug 7, 2003||Feb 19, 2004||Mckesson Automation, Inc.||Vacuum pill dispensing cassette and counting machine|
|WO2006029509A1 *||Sep 13, 2005||Mar 23, 2006||Michael Handfield||Smart tray for dispensing medicaments|
|U.S. Classification||221/7, 221/211, 221/13, 221/197|
|International Classification||G06M11/00, B65B57/20|
|Cooperative Classification||B65B57/20, G06M11/00|
|European Classification||B65B57/20, G06M11/00|